SET-listed Ch. Karnchang Plc (CK), Thailand’s second-largest construction firm, is studying infrastructure development opportunities in Myanmar, such as electricity, dam and highway projects.
Vorapote Uchupaiboonvong, executive vice-president for accounting and finance, said CK’s main infrastructure investments in Myanmar would focus on Greater Yangon, but a feasibility study for investment remained incomplete.
“There are many opportunities in Myanmar, and we’re ready to take the initiative, but the study must be completed before we enter the country,” he said.
Mr Vorapote said the possible investment value in Myanmar was difficult to estimate since the feasibility study was still ongoing.
“We conducted thorough studies in Laos before investing in that country. We’re adopting a similar approach for Myanmar,” he said.
He said CK’s investment framework in Myanmar could involve either a construction-based procedure or forming a joint-investment partnership with the Myanmar government.
Investment risks in the former pariah state include rules and regulations for investment and other associated risks, Mr Vorapote said.
He said CK subsidiary Thai Tap Water Supply Plc was also conducting a feasibility study into investing in tap water development in Mawlamyine, Myanmar’s fourth-largest city, and this could pave the way for CK to explore future investment incentives there.
“Generally, we have our Thai partners and companies for co-investing in other countries,” Mr Vorapote said.
Meanwhile, he said the company’s Xayaburi dam project in Laos was half-complete, with the remaining portion expected to take another four years.
The project will generate sales of electricity to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, which could help to keep the lid on electricity costs in this country, Mr Vorapote said.
Completion of Xayaburi dam’s second stage is scheduled for June, and more than 90% of electricity produced by the 1,285-megawatt dam will be exported to Thailand.
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